Battle of Cassinga - Attack - 15h00 - 18h00


At 15h00, one of the Mirage IIIs returned to Cassinga, and once again strafed the Cuban vehicles that were still on the road, setting at least one of them alight. It was replaced at 15h30 by another aircraft and a Buccaneer which proceeded to destroy more of the vehicles and a building. About a kilometer south of Cassinga, the Buccaneer attacked another column of vehicles, coming under heavy anti-aircraft fire in the process.

Another Buccaneer arriving at 16h45 surprised some Cubans moving through the ruins, destroying a T-34 tank and some anti-aircraft guns in the process, while further Mirage and Buccaneer strikes at 17h10 and 18h35 destroyed another tank and other equipment.

The result was that by nightfall nearly the entire Cuban battalion had been destroyed, killing around 150 Cuban soldiers, accounting for that country's biggest single-day casualty rate during its military involvement in Angola.

A complete Angolan tank brigade relief force arriving at dusk, was too late to have any impact, and found only scenes of destruction at what had once been Cassinga.

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